Monday, May 3, 2010

Living Room Renovation: Making Progress

Nearly every weekend for the last few months, I've been playing This Old House at my boyfriend's place. We've made small strides in putting the finishing touches on the bathroom, like hanging the closet door and choosing a shower curtain, but we've turned most of our attention to another area in desperate need of a pick-me-up: the living room.

The living room wasn't much to speak of with white walls and stained carpet. While we were pulling the trim off the walls, I asked Nate why he hadn't painted when he moved in. He did. He chose white. Sigh.

I can't adequately describe how disgusting the carpet was - and how poorly it was installed. The previous owner must have measured incorrectly, requiring a 10-inch wide strip of carpeting to be pieced in along the wall. No matter; we were planning to pull up the beast anyway.

But first we addressed the need for color. After countless trips to Menards and Home Depot, I've assembled quite the collection of paint samples. I was originally leaning toward green, but we couldn't agree on a shade. I wanted something bold and vibrant. He preferred a muted, subtle shade. This left us with a selection of institutional gray-green hues to choose from.

So, we changed direction and went with a soft gray-blue paint. However, this does mean that the entire house will be painted in essentially the same color scheme: turquoise for the bathroom, navy in the bedroom, and gray in the kitchen and dining room.

Then came the most satisfying part: ripping up the carpet. This lead to the most unsatisfying part: discovering that the carpet pad was glued to the floor. I can't even report back on the hours spent peeling up the disintegrated carpet pad and chipping off hunks of glue.

Add in hours upon hours of sanding and we had a fresh hardwood floor to finish. We were a little concerned about all of the stains and discolorations in the wood from years of spilled beverages and foot traffic, but it adds character. I prefer imperfect wood floors anyway.

While Nate tackled the unpleasant task of coating the floor with polyurethane, I headed outside to stain the trim. (This also resulted in the inhalation of too many chemicals - and a bout with laryngitis a couple of weeks ago.)

Ailments aside, the floor is done and we nailed in the baseboards this weekend. Believe it or not, I'm actually wielding a nail gun and using it - not just posing for a photo!

There's still a fair amount of work to be done with putting up trim around the windows and ceiling, then purchasing window treatments and light fixtures.

But until that happens, I'm obsessing over our refinished floor.


  1. Nice work!! WOW! Impressive!

    A.Co @ A.Co est. 1984

  2. Wow, that was a lot of work but the floors look beautiful now! Can't wait to see the rest!

  3. That seems like a lot of work!
    Thumbs up for doing it yourself,
    starting to look good already.
    Good luck with the rest!

  4. i like how the floor's deep finish really makes those patterned ballet flats pop. :)

  5. It looks AMAZING! Y'all did a great job!

  6. Love the paint color and your adorable flats!

  7. The floor and grey walls look great!

    When you mentioned Menards, it brought back memories from back when I lived in Green Bay. That store seems to have everything. The other Wisconsin memory I miss most is Culvers. I would kill for a butter burger and cheese curds right now!

  8. I must say, anytime anyone does their own remodeling, I am impressed. We hired a couple to redo our home b/c it's too much for me (time, money, effort)...and I have no speck of DIY in my entire body! The floors look fabulous and love the paint color!!

  9. Good work!:D I like how the flooring came out!:D
    ...and everything girly under the sun!

  10. Wow! The floor looks amazing!!
    Whoever thinks wall to wall carpeting needs to have their head examined.
    Sorry it was so awful to remove - I went through a similar experience of peeling off ancient wall paper one tiny scrap at a time-- no fun at all!

    Chic on the Cheap

  11. AWESOME refinished floor, beautiful!

  12. This is impressive - seriously, yall have put so much work into that house and it looks amazing! I don't know how you do it... and I love that blue-gray color!

  13. What an undertaking! This post really impresses me -- it takes real dedication to do a room overhaul like this. The floors and walls look marv.

  14. Wow Jessica! You must feel such a sense of accomplishment. That's a lot of work!!! It's looking great, and I can't wait to see when you're all finished with it! Btw, such a guy thing to do by painting white. LOL! Love that you're helping him branch out with a little color. Please post pics when the room is complete. :)

  15. Fantastic!!!

    I'm so envious of people who can tackle a major diy home project. I just don't have the patience or the motivation to try, the most I did was paint my previous room haha.

  16. oh my gosh, you two are doing amazing work! it looks like a totally different, brand new room now. the floor is just beautiful. ~joelle

  17. WOW! girl you are handy! It looks soooo much better now, great job!

    It made me laugh that he chose white. MEN!

    PS Love the name Nate!

  18. wow! Jessica! its really coming along GREAT!

  19. WOW!! What a great work!! Congratulations!

    Follow your blog since now ;)



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